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This Mystery is out of date! Please proceed to Plant & Animal Secrets to see the updated version.
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How do plants and trees grow?
Plant & Animal Secrets Unit | Lesson 5 of 6

How do plants and trees grow?

Plant & Animal Secrets Unit | Lesson 5 of 6
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Can`you`think`of`a
way`to`figure`out
if`the`sunlight
helped`the`small
tree`grow?

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Extensions

Below are ideas for extending this topic beyond the activity & exploration you just completed.

  • End of Mystery Assessment : Open-ended drawing/writing prompt
  • Readings: These books will get your students thinking about what plants need to live and grow.
  • Video: Get students observing and predicting with a time-lapse video of a growing seed!
  • Activities: Three options for an extended plant investigation
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Readings

These online books are free for educators registered on Epic!:

Plants Are Alive by Molly Aloian explores how the parts of a plant, such as roots, stems, and flowers, help a plant survive.

Carmela Plants a Tree by Marianne Mitchell is a short story about a girl who plants a tree in her yard.

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Video and Discussion

This timelapse video of a seed germinating would make a great opportunity for discussion:

  • Before watching: Tell students they’re going to watch a sped-up video of a plant beginning to grow.
  • While watching: Pause the video several times to have students describe what they’re seeing and make predictions about what will happen next.
  • After watching: Ask students what they think would have happened if the plant didn’t get water or sunlight. How would the video have been different?

For more on how to lead great science discussions, see this list of talk moves from The Inquiry Project.

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Activities

Note: These activities last three weeks or longer but are a great opportunity to extend this Mystery further.

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Grade K

Plant & Animal Needs

Plant Needs: Light

K-LS1-1

Activity Prep

Print Prep

To view a revised version of this lesson, please click here.
In this Mystery, students investigate the conditions plants need to survive. In the two-part activity, Seeds — Light and Dark, students experiment with growing radish seeds in light and dark conditions. They plant them in cups, place half of the cups in the sun, and put the other half in a dark container. Three to seven days later, students compare the seedlings and then watch what happens when all are placed in the sun.

Preview activity

Exploration

20 mins

Wrap-Up

5 mins

Grade K

Plant & Animal Needs

Plant Needs: Light

K-LS1-1

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